Sunday 18 February 2018

A feat for sore feet 32 marathons in 32 days

Colin Gleeson

GERRY Duffy is no ordinary 42-year-old. He is a fitness instructor by day, a DJ by night, and he spends his spare time setting himself outlandish "endurance challenges" that sometimes span more than 12 hours.

At the moment, he is about halfway through a quest to run 32 marathons -- one in each county on the island of Ireland -- in 32 consecutive days.

Running with him is his friend and Bank of Ireland official Ken Whitelaw (30).

But the pair from Mullingar have had to put in much more than 32 days of exercise to prepare for the feat.

"Physically, it is very strenuous," said Mr Duffy yesterday. "The background of the endurance we've done over the last few years helps and we have had a very intense training regime leading up to each race.

"It started out at about 55 to 60 miles of running a week. And then we would consecutively increase the distance by five miles every week. Then on the fourth week, which was our rest week, we'd drop it back by five, so that was the secret.

"After each race, we are checked out by a physiotherapist. Literally when I cross the line, I am given a protein drink that immediately starts rebuilding muscles for tomorrow's race. Straight away then the body is trying to replenish itself.

"We have an ice bath every day for about 10 minutes and just have to try and rest up as much as we can, which isn't easy because we usually have a two or three-hour drive to the next location after every race".

The pair will make a donation to the Irish Cancer Society, and the rest of the proceeds will go to Irish Autism Action.

Today they will be running their 19th marathon starting and finishing at Castle Dargan Hotel, Co Sligo.

Irish Independent

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